Director Philip Barantini brings the magic of the one-take film – in the tradition of Aleksandr Sokurov’s Russian Ark and Alejandro Iñàritu’s Birdman and that breathtakingly unforgettable episode of The Haunting of Hills House – to a busy East London restaurant. The demand placed on actors and crew by this technique cannot be overstated. However, a gimmick it is and should not be attempted unless you’ve got a stellar cast, great story, excellent script, and high stakes behind you.
Barantini succeeds for the most part – whether or not anyone cares Stephen Graham’s head chef Andy Jones gets through the health department check and subsequent busy service might be up in the air – but it’s the cast that carry this one through. Veterans of the London stage and a few survivors of Guy Ritchie films shine and bring truth and intimacy to their roles. The script is also strong.
An auteur piece for lovers of art cinema, Boiling Point is a fun, worthwhile piece that should induce fond memories to anyone who has cut their teeth in the stressful world of commercial hospitality.
BECOMING COUSTEAU NEW website by Jeanette Russell
Jacques-Yves Cousteau was born in 1910 in France and passed away in 1997 at age 87. He had an amazing life as documented in "Becoming Cousteau" that portrays his work, discoveries passions and achievements. Some of those were in the French Navy, exploring the sea quite extensively, and being the co-inventor of the Aqua-Lung, in his younger years. Later in life he made films, documentaries, and wrote. He formed the Cousteau society. This was born because Jacques was convinced that humans were ruining the planet. The documentary film is very interesting and informative, showing the man, emotional, real and active in preserving the planet for future generations. Cousteau's life was one of searches, pioneering journeys, and great accomplishments. Married to his first wife in 37, Jacques met her as the first female aquanaut and diver. . Simone loved the Calypso boat that became her home with Jacques and family, until her death in 1990. She loved the sea and the tours they took on the boat. She was also his business partner. They had 2 children Philippe who sadly passed at age 37 and Jean Michel. Cousteau's second wife who he married in 1991 had 2 children with him Diane and Pierre Yves, her name is Francine.
In 1957 Jacques made the documentary film called A Silent World. It was derived from a book. He won awards for it one an Academy Award and an Oscar as well as an award from the Cannes International Film Festival. Cousteau was a director in Monaco of its Oceanographic Museum, in 1957.
Jacques starred in many T.V shows and documentaries, as well as producing. One of his most famous was The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau. He had produced many with his son Philippe. This multi-talented man also wrote many books. The documentary, Becoming Cousteau, was a fascinating insight into the life of this famous man. Showcasing his journey with commentary by Jacques himself as well as friends, colleagues and family. I highly recommend watching the film. Towards the end we are able to understand and get insights into his love of marine life and the planet, and wanting to leave a better world for future generations.
The Cousteau Society was a not for profit group formed that is dedicated to marine conservation.. In October 91 a protocol was established to protect Antarctica from mineral resource and oil collection, for the sake of the environment. A treaty was born in which the USA and 24 nations agreed to ban these explorations for at least 50 years. Antarctica balances the planet earth with the mix of sun and Antarctica's 90 % ice. Cousteau has described.
In 1992 Cousteau was heavily involved in "The Earth Summit " . Jacques ascertained that " Biodiversity is shrinking and energy is in demand" He was urging people to act, and stated that he believes in people to do the right thing for the planet, and our future.
Very impressive, well made movie well worth the watch. Released on the 22nd of October.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to review it.
My Father and Me is above all, an exploration of the morality of representation and honest depiction. It asks the question faced by all artists, but documentary makers in particular. When faced with the downtrodden and the destitute; is it kinder to uplift their image, glorify their strengths and downplay their hardships, in order to shield them from stigma and shame. Or is it safer to show the reality of the situation, no matter how brutal or harsh the effects, in the hopes that the knowledge will empower those able to affect change and influence things for the better. The film makes it abundantly clear that Writer/director/narrator/star Nick Broomfield has struggled with this question since before he understood what it was. The film ostensibly follows Nicks father, the famed British photographer Maurice Broomfield. In chronological order, the film goes through his life beat by beat from the start of his career to his recent death.
The film itself is a perfect encapsulation of its core theme. It bounces between mythologising Maurice and hinting at the darker realities. It builds up an image of a perfect holiday and endlessly caring family, then undercuts it with the knowledge that Maurice hated being called Dad and the whole family was on a first name basis. It doesn’t shy away from discussing facts or events, but resorts to vagary and glosses over context. It’s a contrarian movie, packed to the brim with artificiality and idealised versions of events, but presented with absolute honesty and conviction. The narrator isn’t so much unreliable, as they are naïve. Watching the film, it feels like the movie and its maker are learning about the events in real time. As if the film is happening in the background and the audience is sitting alongside the director and we’re both trying to make sense of it together.
In that vein, it is impossible for anyone to watch this film and not understand how hard it was for Nick to make. No matter how events are being presented or how quickly major downbeats are sped through, there is an inescapable sense of true emotion instilled into every frame. Scenes last too long, and important context is skipped, but it all feels like a story being told by someone who lived it. It is reminiscent of listening to a dinner story where the narrator focuses on trying to remember the brand of wine, or sums up the epic tale with “but it all worked out”. It’s not what you want to hear about, and it’s terrible storytelling, but it’s honest and its real. Watching this film is an emotional rollercoaster ride. It’s a story about a hard man, who was hard on his family and by all rights should have been difficult to love; but very clearly was loved, by many of those around him. Nick describes his mother’s death, the effects of depression and the darkest points in the family history, but frames them in a tale of love and legacy.
It would be dishonest to claim that My Father and Me is completely true, but equally dishonest to claim it isn’t. It is true to itself, if nothing else. It is not a masterclass in film making. It falls slightly into self-aggrandisement at times as Nick pats himself on the back for all he’s done; and tonally the film is a scrambled mess. It asks the question of romanticisation vs harsh reality, yet it settles on compromise. It glorifies the father of glorification, and spotlights the realist son. Attempting to have its cake and eat it too. For all that though, it is difficult to imagine any other way the story could have been told. Hearing the narration struggle to find its voice and rely on external sources when emotions run high, sounds like a live performance. Seeing the images taken to be brutal and confronting, then hearing artificial sound effects layered over them is startling. My Father and Me doesn’t feel like watching a film. It feels like reading a friend’s personal diary. You know every word is true, even if you remember it differently. It is fascinating and you want to know more, but everything you learn instils a sense of guilt in you. Like you have invaded someone’s privacy and gained knowledge you were never meant to have. This isn’t a film, it’s a therapy session, recorded without the patient’s knowledge. It’s real, in the way only art can be.
SPARKLING: THE STORY OF CHAMPAGNE website review by Sam Bell
In a digital age of outrage and cancel culture, when true crime reigns supreme and hot takes are the only takes worth listening to; Sparkling: The Story of Champagne is something of an enigma. A documentary so determined to be unoffensive or jarring in any way, that it bucks the industry trend and defies expectations. Sparkling attempts to make up for its lack of conflict or overarching story, by drowning the audience in so many interviews, with so many different figures that the camera cuts rival most shaky cam action sequences. Keeping the audience entertained by way of puzzling out who is talking and about what, rather than the actual dialogue or information being presented.
A method that proves surprisingly effective. While the film meanders aimlessly from topic to topic, exploring tangents and unrelated factors in abrupt, unpredictable segues; It does maintain its chronology throughout. A pacing backbone that is tentatively capable of keeping the film together through its absolute mess of a storyboard.
The films tone assists in its cohesion as well. By maintaining its light and breezy tone, it stops the audience getting too invested in any particular topic, so the sudden shift is less worrisome. Without any trace of conflict, there is no side to take or follow. Even in the second half, when the film undergoes a complete paradigm shift. Choosing to abandon the historical and technical aspects of the first half for a nationalistic debate of local specialities and whether a lack of competition has helped or hindered the industry.
The film maintains its ultra-fast paced interview cuts and random topic shifts, but the topics shifted to bare no resemblance to those of the first half. By this point audiences have either grown accustom to the frenetic, skin-deep style, or left; making it less of an issue and more of a talking point. This trained apathy is strong enough that even a 2 minute cameo by Stephen Fry, reading a poem and making a vague statement about the etymology of the word champagne seems like a fitting and reasonable section for the film to contain. That he seems to have been given top billing Is a bit of a stretch however. No matter how sporadic and unpredictably the information is portrayed, there is no denying that Sparkling, does impart a lot of information. From the contested origins of the drink, to its effects on pop culture and world history. All the way the effects of climate change on different regions of the world and the ways national agriculture is shifting to maintain the status quo. The downside of this is that no matter your interests, you are certainly going to find some part of the film painfully slow. Which part is likely to change from person to person.
Sparkling is a documentary without a message, goal, or topic of interest. It presents no new information and provides no unusual views. It is the coldest of takes and least confronting film seen in a long time. It is a light, gentle puff piece, utterly devoid of narrative or structure. Viewers would be better served not thinking of this as a conventional documentary, but rather an hour and half long guided tour through the encyclopedia entry, for the word Champagne. Likely too slow for most, but calming enough for many. Sparkling is not a film to sit down and focus on, but rather a pleasant mood setter, to have playing in the background while you cook dinner, or to listen to while going for a walk.
Séance is a revolves around a group of teens at a prestigious girl’s school, Edelvine Academy and opens up with a small group of students standing in front of a mirror calling the Edelvine ghost, in a similar manner as Candyman, as part of a prank on those students not in the “know”. Soon afterwards one of the students is found dead, supposedly falling out of her dorm window. This leaves an opening for a new student to arrive and soon the main character Camille Meadows (Waterhouse) arrives. Camille is the new girl in the school and soon comes face to face with the mean girls of the school but soon finds common ground as a series of deaths of the girls who attended the mirror awakening take place. There are flashes of a masked face prior to each death suggesting that the ghost of Edelvine is at play but is it a ghost or something else at play, there are several surprises as the movie develops.
I enjoyed the film as a Teen Slasher meets Nancy Drew, though most of the slasher action happens towards the end but still it was neither slow nor boring. There are only a few jump scares, but you are compelled to keep watching just to find out how this will unfold. There is also a developing romance which puts a nice touch to the events in the film and Suki Waterhouse plays her part very well along, revealing her motivations as Camille for coming to the school in the first place at the end of the film.
This is good to watch as an afternoon film or as part of a girls night if you enjoy a Teen Slasher with a touch of murder mystery
YAKUZA PRINCESS website review by Olga Tolkatcheva
The film is based on a Brazilian comic book and has all the features of an indulgent escape: exotic Japanese subculture with samurai philosophy and yakuza tattoos; a beautiful but deadly Japanese girl-orphan living in Brazil; an exquisitely crafted ancient katana sword, famously cursed to bring destruction to its owners; a mysterious powerful stranger with a memory loss, who helps the main heroine. Finally, a portion of mysticism and loads of action complete the recipe.
The ingredients for a gripping action thriller are there, however in trying to stay true to the original graphic story, the result is a stylish, visually stunning movie with schematic characters and a plot that was difficult to follow.
The main character, Akemi, discovers that she is the only surviving heiress to a slain Yakuza crime family. She was saved as an infant and hidden far away from her home. Fate has finally caught up with her, and her proficiency in combat and sword fight comes in handy when she needs to defend herself against the bloodthirsty Yakuza. The war between crime lords provides a perfect backdrop to showcase graphic violence and frequent fight sequences.
I enjoyed beautiful photography and music, as well as the stimulating scenery. It was an interesting view of shadowy, Japanese underworld culture. One of the interesting facts I discovered is that Brazil has the biggest Japanese ex-pat community in the world.
This movie would appeal to die-hard fans of action movies and fans of grungy film-noir.
A FIRE INSIDE website review by MD, a volunteer fireman
A Fire Inside
Every good documentary has an angle. There is some intrinsic point of their subject that has been overlooked by the public that the documentary team whish to shed light upon. Some vital aspect that has gone overlooked by the media and the popular discourse. There’s no shortage of choices when you’re topic is the horrifying bushfires of 2019-2020 – the Red Cross’ flagrant abandonment of their duties as soon as the media cameras packed up and left, the ongoing struggle for resources and housing for the members of the public left homeless and destitute while our moron Prime Minister spends 90 billion dollars on submarines we won’t see for a quarter of a century, the fact that planned burns have been a vital part of fire land management for decades but couldn’t be done in the months leading up to the fires because climate change had so effected conditions that planned burns couldn’t be done safely, the arrogant politicization of the disasters and the utterly bullshit blaming of the situation on “arsonists and lightning” by the Murdoch press, the astonishing surges of domestic violence which occur after a national emergency which Sherele Moody attempted to address and was cancelled for, the fact that selflessness in Australia only extends as far as personal inconvenience and when it comes time to wear a mask and stay indoors for a spell it’s all too much for Australian communities far and wide, the music and comedy industries which came to the rescue of fundraisers and communities only to be shut out and left to destitution come the COVID lockdowns, or maybe the continued and blatant lack of action on providing firefighters the resources they need to combat the growingly complex and aggressive blazes we’re going to see on a regular basis henceforth.
Any of this would have been good. A generic puff-piece full of tear-eyed sentiment, generic montages, and scary music isn’t what we needed. A 90-minute A Current Affair piece does nothing to address the continued lack of initiative shown by the Australian PUBLIC on who they vote for, the corporate destruction of the GLOBAL environment and its consequences, and the mental health of first responders and the public.
Lastly, I seem to remember the fires engulfing most of the country – including Victoria – but it is the gift of the New South Welsh to be able to convince themselves that they are the entire nation.
To accord some credit, mental health is focussed on for a spell. But it is not significant, not targeted, and does not appeal to anyone who needs help now to reach out and seek guidance.
A safe, generic, boring load of shit. Don’t call firefighters heroes. Create a community where we can rest easy knowing we won’t have to put our lives on the line like this – or make the support happen where we need it afterward.
by Jeanette Russell
A Fire Inside is a heartening, inspirational documentary about the lives of volunteers coming together in the wake of a disaster to protect and support their local community in country NSW. This film is a true insight into the lives of some of these dedicated volunteers, the firefighters, who have put their own lives on the line so many times to combat the scary and all engulfing flames. It's the story of volunteers supporting and helping others not only to save their lives, homes and properties, but afterwards to assist people rebuild, re-fence and also to aid with food, clothes and other essentials.
The amazing spirit and bravery of these individuals does not go unnoticed. Their phenomenal resilience and perseverance is incredible. I was awestruck.
This not to be missed doco had me in tears, truly inspired and extremely impressed me also. I was so humbled by the character of these strong human beings. It felt such a privilege to have insight into their journeys as they shared very personal stories and accounts of what they had been through.
I felt so moved by the whole film. Volunteers apparently make up 90% of the fireforce which is so surprising to hear. My hat goes off to them, as many described the huge personal sacrifices that have been made not only during Black Saturday, but afterwards coping with mental health issues, physical ailments and the like.
During the stories families share from all aspects of being involved in the Rural Fire Service, from fighting fires on the front line to losing loved ones, and being part of a family waiting for the firies to come home. Other volunteers involved from food bankers, to backpackers who were involved in assisting farmers to re-fence, share their experience. They aptly describe how they feel about volunteering and what it brings to their personal journeys in life.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to review this amazing documentary. It's such a good watch and really gives such valuable insight into the NSW rural communities and how the volunteers are such heroes and mentors. I highly recommend this film. Icon Run time 91 mins Release 7 th of Oct. Writers / directors Justin Krook Luke Mazzaferro Production Michael Hilliard Camilla Mazzaferro Casey Ventura Nick Worthington.
“Last man down “- let me start by saying: what a movie!
It’s one of the most amazing piece of art which was performed so well by two main characters of the movie - John and Maria.
It is a movie full of suspense and amalgamation with great acting, story, directorship and cinematography. It is one of ten few movies which I enjoyed watching after so long.
The character, John is someone who left the civilisation and lives now in a forest, in the woods. The entrance of Maria into his life has not only changed John’s life but also brought a sweet and sour flavour to the film.
Being an artist myself, I understand and appreciate the amount of hardwork and effort which was put into this movie creation by th whole cast and film crew.
I would like to give special congratulations to the director and the writer of the film for this incredible work and for their talent.
Please keep entertaining us with this kind of superb piece of art.
I would highly recommend this movie to anyone and everyone.